We all have times of overwhelm, exhaustion, sickness, and just plain frustration. I’m here to remind you that you have a choice of how to handle those times. Many times I’ve chosen to keep pushing and end up crashing into a pile of anger and exhaustion. Most recently I’ve chosen to slow down, rest, and ask for help. Sometimes we need signs to remind us of what we’re supposed to do. I know this was one of my signs, and maybe it can be your sign too.
My Jammed Pack Month of March
March is always an exciting month in our house. We have three birthdays and our anniversary. So much to celebrate! This year we are in the midst of a remodel of our home. I also went out of town for four days to a business event. Although it was a great time away to get focused on my business goals, by the time I reached April, I was exhausted!
Combine all that activity with the up and down of Maryland spring(ish) weather, I was bound to get a cold. So this time, instead of pushing it and fighting my body, I took a day to rest and recuperate. I had to ask for help from my husband so I could rest but let me tell you, it was well worth it. Happy, rested mama, happy family. 🙂
1. It pays to slow down now instead of later.
Once you recognize that you are feeling that overwhelm, exhaustion, sickness, etc, you can analyze the situation and determine where you are in the process. If you’re anything like me, you have experienced when you kept pushing through a cold and it turned into something worse, like pneumonia or bronchitis. After my last bout with bronchitis, I decided I would let my body rest so I didn’t have to go through that again. A trip to the store for OTC cold medicine tends to be less expensive than a trip to the doctor followed up with prescription from the pharmacy. Not to mention being down and out for at least a week instead of just a day or two.
2. Slowing down helps you evaluate current systems.
How many times are you rushing around trying to get stuff done: get the kids ready, lunches packed, shoes on, work done, dinner ready, dishes cleaned…then when you have a moment to pause and reflect, you think I could have done that differently, I could have been better about this or that. However you get there, slowing down gives you time to look around and evaluate how things are really going. How is my meal planning system? Maybe I need a better morning routine. Do my kids need to pitch in more around the house? Whatever systems you are using will be able to be seen during a time of reflection.
**Bonus for all you finance nerds like me 😉 – slowing down on a regular basis helps you see where your money is going – budgeting, spending analysis. This truly is amazing and you are able to spot where you can change things as needed.
3. Asking for help is a sign of strength.
President Obama once said, “Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new.”
As a strong willed, mostly independent woman, I will try just about anything to be able to do it myself. There are times when I’ve been able to do it. Then there are other times when it’s been a “learning experience,” where I learned to not do that again. When it comes to things that “should” be in my wheelhouse, I have a terrible time asking for help. Through counseling and years of experience, I’ve found that you must ask your husband/spouse for help. They cannot and will not read your mind, even if you have an amazing connection. Plus a conversation about a few small things can lead to success in other areas as well. It takes a lot of courage to use those words, I need help.
4. Pulling back can propel you further and faster.
Recently I’ve been reminded it’s OK to slow down in this season of life with littles. There are times where I’ve been over committed and overwhelmed. I find signs, or God whispers, that remind me that I was created to be a mom for my children, and I’m a wife and I’m me. There have been times (and there still are times) when I want to keep going, I want more for myself, my life, my business, and God reminds me that my family comes first. We feel pulled in what seems like the opposite direction of success or the plans we want. We listen, we persevere, we pull back. Then we launch further and faster than we could have ever imagined. Just like an arrow being pulled back and shot forward.
**Bonus for all the God girls – an unknown author said “Only God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into triumph, and a victim into a victory.” That gets me excited for God’s awesome plans for you and for me! Follow His lead and remember it’s His timing and not ours.